P Z Myers recently wrote a post-mortem on “New” Atheism of USA. Reading that I realised what happened in my own state of Kerala in India was very similar, though late by few years.
Can an atheist avail the benefit of affirmative action from the Government in India like reserved jobs which is based on caste into which a person is born ?
Indian (Hindu) society was deeply divided by the hierarchical caste system. It originated around 2000 years ago.
Farooq was an Iron scrap dealer living in the South Indian city of Coimbatore. He was an outspoken ex Muslim atheist who regularly used to criticise all religions including Islam on Facebook and Whatsapp. He was an active member of an outfit called Dravidar Viduthalai Kazhakam, a break away group of Dravidar Kazhakam.
Not able to answer his criticisms, Islamists decided to punish him as per their holy book.
Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment, Quran 5 : 33
The Hindutva brigade in India has used violence and intimidation to cancel a Nastik Sammelan (get together of Atheists) in Mathura, in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Not surprisingly, they got support from their supposed to be enemies, the Islamic clerics. This happened to a meeting called by Swami Balendu at his ashram. Balendu was a Hindu spiritual guru, but has turned into an atheist few years ago.
“Over 50 activists of the VHP, the Bajrang Dal and local Hindutva groups reached the Bindu Seva Sansathan Ashram at about 10 in the morning and started shouting slogans and attacking the ashram property. Armed with sticks, the Hindutva activists broke the glass panels of the ashram,” Swami Balendu told The Hindu on phone from Mathura.
“Immediately after the attack, the Hindutva activists, accompanied by senior police officials, told us that the protest was a mere start and if we went ahead with the meeting then much bigger things could happen in the city,” he said.
“Even though it was a private event we had taken official permission. The Constitution permits us to be non-believers. But this seems like an all-out attack on the freedom of expression and the freedom to be a non-believer,” added Swami Balendu.
I remember saying to my mum, ‘I don’t think I believe in God any more,’ And her saying, ‘You can’t tell anybody else because they’ll kill you, we are obliged to kill ex-Muslims,’ and that it would put me at extreme risk if anybody else was to find out, so that conversation ended there.” – Sadia, a former Muslim
Getting out of religion is extremely difficult and dangerous for those born in Muslim families. This is true not only in Muslim majority countries but also in most places in the world. Now, perhaps for the first time, a documentary film titled “Islam’s Non-Believers” depicting the difficult path followed by those who left Islam has been produced. The one hour documentary will be premiered in ITV in United Kingdom at 10 40 PM local time on 13th of October, 2016.
A popular American atheist Youtuber who calls himself ‘Amazing Atheist’ proved why he is amazing. He declared his support for Trump in the coming Presidential election.
Not only did he encourage them to vote for Trump — he proudly said that he won’t vote. Which galls me. How the fuck are we supposed to ensure separation of church and state if we don’t vote? And how do you endorse a candidate who says he’ll violate that boundary with statements like, “When I’m President, we are going to start saying ‘Merry Christmas’ again, that I can tell you”? I mean…what?!
He is arguably the strongest critic of Islam in this part of the world. He is an ex Muslim atheist who is very knowledgable about the religion. He lives and propagates his ideas in a district in Kerala with a Muslim majority. He is the leader of Yukthivadi Sangham, a rationalist organisation of Kerala. This brave freethinker is E A Jabbar, a retired school teacher from Malappuram.
Now he is facing death threat. A blog in malayalam has named him along with some other freethinkers as enemies of Islam and has threatened to silence him.
I believe that continuing debates and public disagreements are necessary for any movement to grow and flourish. It is very much true about atheist movement too. Otherwise it will become as stagnant as religions.
The gist of David Smalley’s article as far as I could understand is most of the disagreements with in the Atheist community can be solved by talking in private. Going public about the disagreement will harm the fight against religious orthodoxy.
My town Palakkad saw on this Sunday a protest meeting. It was against the cruel attack, presumably carried out by Islamist fundamentalist group on an upcoming writer Jimshar that took place near here on July 24th. His “crime” was giving a name to his book that did not please the Islamists.
The meeting was organised by the local chapter of Yukthivadi Sangham, the rationalist organisation. It was inaugurated by member of Indian Parliament (MP) and Communist Party of India leader M B Rajesh. The local member of Kerala legislative assembly (MLA) Shafi Parambil belonging to the Congress party also participated. Jimshar could not come due to his injuries.
Female attendees are very few in atheist meetings in Kerala. Many concerned male atheists are thinking deep about the reasons for lack of participation of females in their “noble” ventures. They are also very concerned about lack of support for male atheist activists from their wives.